CASTLES OF THE WORLD - BELLVERID92930057
€14.00 (Taxes not incl.)
The Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre presents a new series of collector coins dedicated to the "Castles of the World". It has been difficult to make the selection, taking into account that in Spain alone there are more than 10,000 castles registered, so we have had the collaboration of the Spanish Association of Friends of the Castles for an appropriate choice of castles to represent.
The collection is made up of sixteen coins, which can be purchased individually, as a complete collection and in sets of four coins each.
The obverse shows a coloured image of Bellver Castle on the island of Majorca. Its construction began in 1300 by order of James II, King of Mallorca. The work on the castle took nine years, while the ornamental work was completed later. Seventy permanent workers, a large number of women and the king's slaves worked on the site.
On the reverse (common to all the coins), within a central circular area, the value of the coin 1.5 EURO appears; to its right, the mint mark; at the bottom, the legend CASTLES OF THE WORLD. An allegory of the structure of the castles surrounds the legends in the central area.
|Series||Castles Of The World|
|Face Value (Euro)||1.5|
|Maximum Mintage (units)||5,000|
“About half a league to the west-south-west of the city of Palma, you can see the castle of Bellver, to which our misfortunes could have given some sad fame.”
This is the opening line of Memorias del Castillo de Bellver (Recollections of the Castle of Bellver), which was written in the early 19th century by the illustrious Asturian politician and writer Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos while he was imprisoned in this ancient, circular Gothic fortress perched on a small, pine-cloaked hill, from which it overlooks the bay and the city of Palma. Magnificent views are to be had from this extraordinary vantage point, which undoubtedly gave the castle its name Bellver, the Catalan word for ‘beautiful view’.
Construction of the castle began in about the year 1300, by order of King James II of Majorca, and it was completed in 1314 under the direction of the architect Pedro Salvá, although authoritative sources also name Ponç Descoll, a native of Roussillon, now in France, as the architect responsible for its construction.
James II of Majorca set up his court in this castle. Later, Peter IV of Aragon conquered it, putting an end to the independence of the Kingdom of Majorca. Bellver Castle was the scene of several bloody episodes during the period of the Brotherhoods of Majorca uprising. It was subsequently strengthened to allow it to withstand the Ottoman onslaughts and then used as a leper hospital. It later served as a prison, within whose walls illustrious figures mourned their lost freedom, such as the aforementioned Jovellanos, the liberal general Luis Lacy (executed there) and General Martínez Campos, as well as a large number French prisoners from the nearby island of Cabrera during the Napoleonic Wars (a testament to which is the graffiti carved into its walls from that time, wishing both long life and death to the French emperor and King Ferdinand VII of Spain).
Standing apart from the main body of the fortress, but connected to it by a light bridge with a bold pointed arch, is the imposing keep, also circular and standing 33 metres in height. It is crowned by 38 curved modillions and rests on a base that tapers outwards at the bottom of a moat. The circular fortress is surrounded by massive walls surrounded by a moat, over which rise three large towers, interspersed with turrets buttressed to the outer wall.
The interior of Bellver Castle – which was ceded by the provisional government of the Spanish Republic to Palma City Council in 1931 – consists of an inner courtyard laid out in two concentric circles in a severe and sombre Gothic style that is elegant and grandiose at the same time.